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Honda BR-V CVT Review: A Big Car Meant for the Big Indian Family

Honda BR-V. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Honda BR-V. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

The BR-V promises on practicality and is a car that's perfect for everyday commute and highway driving.

We Indians want a car that does it all and that too in a very strict budget. Till now, Honda’s offering for this market was the Mobilio, which was built on the Brio’s platform, just like the Amaze. But now, they have come out with the BR-V, which brings fresh styling and design language to the table and promises to be a proper family car that you can take anywhere. After all, BR-V stands for ‘Bold Runabout Vehicle’.

But is the car more than just a new design? We put it to the test to find out.


The Looks

The BR-V sports a bold new front fascia that differentiates the car from the other three Honda cars, which had similar front ends. It now sports angular headlamps with a large chrome grille and chrome inserts on the fog lamps that give the car an aggressive stance. The rear tail lamps are connected by the reflector and give the car a wider appearance, although the car isn’t exactly wide. What it is, is long and tall. Interestingly, the car is longer and taller than its nearest rival – Hyundai Creta. Even the ground clearance (210 mm) is more than the Hyundai Creta, Ford EcoSport and the Renault Duster.

Although, if you look at it from the sides, you might mistake it for the Mobilio thanks to the kinked window line. The wheel design, black cladding on the wheel arches and the roof rails give the car a neat appearance.

Honda BR-V from the front. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Once you hop inside the car, the first thing that you’ll see is outside the car as it has great visibility. The cabin is airy and the all-black finish with silver accents work in favour of it. Being a 7-seater, rear visibility is often a concern but is not a problem with the BR-V. There are plenty of storage compartments and the plastic quality feels decent. There is a rear AC vent for back row passengers as well.

The instrument cluster is easy to read and also have an ‘Eco’ light that helps you monitor the fuel efficiency.


What’s Cool?

The car is available with a petrol and diesel engine option. The 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine has a power output 117 horsepower and 145 Nm of torque whereas the 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine delivers 98.5 horsepower and 200 Nm of torque. The engines come connected to a 6-speed manual transmission and you can also opt for a CVT transmission which is only available with the petrol engine, which also comes with steering-mounted paddle shifts.

Honda BR-V from the back. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

The one we drove was the CVT petrol and the car didn’t exactly feel racy but it got the job done when it came to quick overtakes in the city and the engine felt refined on highways. The transmission is smooth and non-intrusive to the driving experience.

The unit we tested was the CVT variant. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Honda claims a mileage of 16 km/l for the CVT variant and the car did deliver around 15 km/l in city conditions and that’s brilliant for a 7-seater. Safety is usually not a concern when it comes to Honda cars and it’s no different with the BR-V as it gets Dual airbags as standard. All variants also get ABS with EBD, except the base petrol (E) variant.

What’s Not So Cool?

There’s plenty of leg room, shoulder room and head room for occupants in the front two rows of the car, although it does get a little cramped up at the last row for tall passengers. Given the not-so-high height of the car, access to the last row is convenient.

The other offerings in the segment have a lot more off-road capabilities on offer and the BR-V seems more city focused in comparison.

The cabin has a nice feel to it, but it looks a little bit dated. Probably because most of the cars are now coming touchscreen infotainment system and the BR-V misses out on that. It is also undoubtedly a long car and hence it should have had parking sensors or a reverse parking camera on board, especially for those, who are upgrading from a hatchback and are not used to parking a car of this size.

Honda BR-V interiors. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)


The Honda BR-V’s biggest competitor is the Hyundai Creta which currently sits at the top of the hill when it comes to sales in the segment. The Renault Duster too has got itself a mid-life facelift that has given a more up to date appearance.


The base petrol variant starts at Rs 8.74 lakh and goes up to Rs 11.99 lakh for the CVT variant, which was the one we tested. The base diesel variant starts at 9.9 lakh and goes up to Rs 12.9 lakh. (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi).

It is not meant for the off-road enthusiasts and let’s face it, most of these cars end up spending most of the time in the city anyways, and it is clear that Honda is targeting the everyday commuter with their latest offering.

The BR-V then is suitable for those who are looking at practicality and functionality over looks and makes sense for the big Indian family that likes to stay together, eat together and drive together.

first published:August 30, 2016, 18:04 IST